Village, orchards left water starved after flash floods divert stream

Village, orchards left water starved after flash floods divert stream
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Rajpora: A stream branching from Ranbiara diverted by flashfloods has left Avengund village in Rajpora of Pulwama district devoid of water supply, denting the village’s irrigation and drinking water needs.
The stream is a branch of Laar distributary flowing down from Ranbiar Nallah in Shopian.
The stream catered to more than four hundred orchards, paddy fields, kitchen gardens apart from being the sole drinking water supply in the area.
As per reports the stream was diverted to Chandpora village some three months back after heavy rains caused a flash flood.
In the process the Avengund village has been left devoid of water and irrigation supply.
The locals told Kashmir Reader that the village is primarily dependent on apple orchards, all of which used to get irrigated by this stream.
“This was the only source to irrigate our orchards, which are the primary source of income to the villagers,” Jawhar Ahmad, a local resident said.
He said more than 150 households of the Avengund village and some villagers from the adjoining areas have their orchards and kitchen gardens located in the area.
Moreover, the villagers say, they used the water of the stream for drinking as well and have been left high and dry even on that front, in the last three months now.
“We have been left dependent on the local wells for our drinking water needs. Unfortunately the water levels of these wells are on a decline as well,” the locals said.
They lamented that the season to spray their orchards with insecticides and pesticides starts in March and irrigation is very important during this time.
“We have been managing the drinking water somehow but if our orchards suffer on irrigation front it will be a catastrophe,” another local Younis Ahmad said.
The locals alleged that they have intimated the authorities time and again but no action has been taken to mend the situation in our favor.
Executive Engineer Irrigation department Pulwama, Salim Malik, said he will look into the matter.
“I actually serve as Exec Engineer Shopian and have been handed over with the additional charge of Pulwama. I will inquire about and will see what can be done,” Malik told Kashmir Reader.